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Poems From Prison

John Rives

John Rives was born in 1958 in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, of American parents. He attended the University of Toronto from 1976 to 1983 and received undergraduate degrees in Geology and History. From 1982 to 1992 he served a life sentence at Millhaven and Collins Bay penitentiaries. Imprisonment exposed him to the shadow side of Canadian society, and led him to write poetry which attempts to uncover the indelible humanity of all prisoners. He is currently on life parole in Kingston, Ontario.

This collection is his first book of poetry. The title, “Dead Time” is jailhouse slang for wasted time, especially time spent in detention awaiting trial, since that time is not usually allowed to count against a sentence.

The symbol “13 ½“ on the cover is a traditional tattoo design popular amongst prisoners. It means, “12 jurors, I judge, and half a chance.”

ISBN 0-921980-02-7
6" x 9”, 63p
$14.95 CND
$12.00 USD